Thursday, July 24, 2008

KBT Presents: SHOW ME LOVE (aka Fucking Åmål)

Swedish director Lukas Moodysson's feature debut was lauded with many awards during its film festival run in 1998-1999. And rightfully so, he takes the small town teenage drama to interesting new places. First by making significant events (first kiss or losing virginity) mundane, and second by making smaller events (a spat between siblings or a casual conversation about mobile phones) positively cataclysmic. At one point a father tells his lonely and troubled daughter that all the high-school relationship politics aren't going to matter a lick in a few years time; her response: "I want to be happy NOW." Such is the out-of-proportion sensibility of many a young teenager.

The story defies any sort of cliché about teen melodrama (or rather the teen addiction to their own melodramas), yet some how manages to hit (or subvert) a lot of the familiar notes: Sexual discovery, running away from home, suicide, popularity, etc, while being a very effective love story on top of everything else. The secret of its success is making each of the characters (and for once, the parents too) complex and, well, real. Visually, the film has the look of extraordinary high grain (blown up from 16mm) which gives a free-floating surreal vibe to the proceedings, like memories or dreams. At a crisp 83 minutes Show Me Love (or its more misleading original Swedish title F**king Åmål - a refrain uttered by young Elin because she is sick of being stuck in the boring small town of Åmål, - a place where nothing happens) is a brilliant success.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Sleaze said...

Love this film and one of my favourites of the 90s. Haven't seen it in a good while and I should really revisit it.

Richard (aka Sleaze)

7:44 a.m.  

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